The decision to start a family is exciting! Like couples faced with infertility or difficulty conceiving, same-sex couples face unique challenges. But, thanks to modern Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART), more LGBTQ couples than ever before have the opportunity to fulfill their dreams of starting a family.
The process of figuring out where to start can be daunting. To start, here are some of the fertility options for same-sex couples:
Fertility Options for Lesbian Couples
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) with donor sperm is the simplest fertility option for female same-sex couples. Artificial insemination and intrauterine insemination have many similarities and are often confused for one another, but it is important to understand the difference.
This procedure is very precise, well-planned and scheduled along with the process of natural ovulation. Ovulation is commonly by the use of medication. In most cases, one partner chooses to carry the baby, however, in some cases, both partners decide to share the experience.
In Vitro Fertilization with Sperm Donor
Another fertility option for female same-sex couples is in vitro fertilization with a sperm donor. This method is often considered to be more popular or preferable compared to IUI because IVF with sperm donor allows both partners to participate in the birth of their child.
With IVF, one woman can donate her eggs while her partner carries the pregnancy. The process is also called reciprocal IVF or egg sharing. There are different scenarios with this method depending upon the preferences of the couple. In some cases, this option involves the use of a surrogate to carry the child if there are health issues with the partners that prevent them from doing so.
Fertility Options for Gay Couples
In Vitro Fertilization, Gestational Surrogacy and Egg Donation
A common fertility option for gay couples is in vitro fertilization (IVF) which works to control the ovulation process. It includes removing eggs from the ovaries of a donor which are then fertilized with sperm. The cultivated embryo are then transferred to the uterus of the gestational surrogate for the pregnancy.
There are a variety of scenarios that may be chosen based on the preference of the couple. Sometimes the sperm is taken from one partner or sometimes from both partners for fertilization to a surrogate.
Getting a Donor for Sperm/ Eggs
The process of choosing a sperm or egg donor is very personal for both opposite-sex and same-sex couples. Based on a couple's preferences, finding an egg or sperm donor can be achieved in two ways--an anonymous donor or a known donor such as a family member or friend. Each lesbian couple is supposed to approach the subject in the way they prefer.
How Laurel Fertility Care Can Help
Laurel Fertility Care provides state-of-the-art fertility care for patients of all sexual orientations that are interested in starting a family. Since 2005, we have worked with single parents, heterosexual and gay couples in over 15 countries and helped them to bring over 1,000 babies into the world. For more information about which fertility option is best for you and your partner, request an appointment today.